BY PROF. CHARLES FOSTER KENT
THE SHORTER BIBLE—THE NEW TESTAMENT.
THE SHORTER BIBLE—THE OLD TESTAMENT.
THE SOCIAL TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHETS AND JESUS.
BIBLICAL GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY.
THE ORIGIN AND PERMANENT VALUE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
HISTORY OF THE HEBREW PEOPLE. From the Settlement in Canaan to the Fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. 2 vols.
HISTORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. The Babylonian, Persian and Greek Periods.
THE HISTORICAL BIBLE. With Maps. 6 vols.
STUDENT'S OLD TESTAMENT. Logically and Chronologically Arranged and Translated. With Maps. 6 vols.
THE MESSAGES OF ISRAEL'S LAW-GIVERS.
THE MESSAGES OF THE EARLIER PROPHETS.
THE MESSAGES OF THE LATER PROPHETS.
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY
CHARLES FOSTER KENT, Ph.D.
WOOLSEY PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE IN YALE UNIVERSITY
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
Copyright, 1911, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
Printed in the United States of America
Published April, 1911
Geography has within the past few years won a new place among the sciences. It is no longer regarded as simply a description of the earth's surface, but as the foundation of all historical study. Only in the light of their physical setting can the great characters, movements, and events of human history be rightly understood and appreciated. Moreover, geography is now defined as a description not only of the earth and of its influence upon man's development, but also of the solar, atmospheric, and geological forces which throughout millions of years have given the earth its present form. Hence, in its deeper meaning, geography is a description of the divine character and purpose expressing itself through natural forces, in the physical contour of the earth, in the animate world, and, above all, in the life and activities of man. Biblical geography, therefore, is the first and in many ways the most important chapter in that divine revelation which was perfected through the Hebrew race and recorded in the Bible. Thus interpreted it has a profound religious meaning, for through the plains and mountains, the rivers and seas, the climate and flora of the biblical world the Almighty spoke to men as plainly and unmistakably as he did through the voices of his inspired seers and sages.
No other commentary upon the literature of the Bible is so practical and luminous as biblical geography. Throughout their long history the Hebrews were keenly attentive to the voice of the Eternal speaking to them through nature. Their writings abound in references and figures taken from the picturesque scenes and peculiar life of Palestine. The grim encircling desert, the strange water-courses, losing themselves at times in their rocky beds, fertile Carmel and snow-clad Hermon, the resounding sea and the storm-lashed waters of Galilee are but a few of the many physical characteristics of Palestine that have left their indelible marks upon the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. The same is true of Israel's unique faith and institutions. Biblical geography, therefore, is not a study by itself, but the natural introduction to all other biblical studies.
In his Historical Geography of the Holy Land and in the two volumes on Jerusalem, Principal George Adam Smith, of Aberdeen, has given a brilliant and luminous sketch of the geographical divisions and cities of Palestine, tracing their history from the earliest times to the present. Every writer on Palestine owes him a great debt. The keenness and accuracy of his observations, are confirmed at every point by the traveller. At the present time, the need of a more compact manual, to present first the physical geography of the biblical lands and then to trace in broad outlines the history of Israel and of early Christianity in close conjunction with their geographical background, has long been recognized. In the present work unimportant details have been omitted that the vital facts may stand out clearly and in their true significance. The aim has been to furnish the information that every Bible teacher should possess in order to do the most effective work, and the geographical data with which every student of the Bible should be familiar, in order intelligently to interpret and fully appreciate the ancient Scriptures.
This volume embodies the results of many delightful months spent in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, and especially in Palestine, during the years 1892 and 1910. Owing to improved conditions in the Turkish Empire it is now possible, with the proper camp equipment, to travel safely through the remotest places east of the Jordan and to visit Petra, that most fascinating of Eastern cities. By securing his equipment at Beirut the traveller may cross northern Galilee and then, with comfort, go southward in the early spring through ancient Bashan, Gilead, Moab, and Edom. Thence, with great economy of time and effort, he may return through central Palestine, making frequent détours to points of interest. In this way he will find the quaint, fascinating old Palestine that has escaped the invasions of the railroads and western tourists, and he will bear away exact and vivid impressions of the land as it really was and still is.
The difficulties and expense of Palestine travel, however, render such a journey impossible for the majority of Bible students. Fortunately, the marvellous development of that most valuable aid to modern education, the stereoscope and the stereograph, make it possible for every one at a comparatively small expense to visit Palestine and to gain under expert guidance in many ways a clearer and more exact knowledge of the background of biblical history and literature than he would through months of travel. Through the courtesy of my publishers and the co-operation of the well-known firm of Underwood & Underwood, of New York and London, I have been able to realize an ideal that I have long cherished, and to place at the disposal of the readers of this volume one hundred and forty stereographs (or, if preferred for class and lecture use, stereopticon slides) that illustrate the most important events of biblical geography and history. They have been selected from over five hundred views taken especially for this purpose, and enable the student to gain, as he alone can through the stereoscope, the distinct state of consciousness of being in scores of historic places rarely visited even by the most venturesome travellers. Numbers referring to these stereographs (or stereopticon slides) have been inserted in the body of the text. In Appendix II the titles corresponding to each number are given.
The large debt that I owe to the valiant army of pioneers and explorers who have penetrated every part of the biblical world and given us the results of their observations and study is suggested by the selected bibliography in Appendix I. I am